3 things to change before the New Year

Over the past year or so I have noticed a couple things from talking to company owners that seem to be consistent.  Today I want to give 3 recommendations that you shoudl consider changing as you go into the new year.

  1. Pricing Model: One of the biggest discrepancies in the industry is the wide variances is pricing.  The inconsistencies across the industry leaves the door wide open for catfish to drop in and under bid us and trick a client into a price break that will ultimately deliver substandard services.  I highly recommend that you have an hourly rate as well as a daily rate model AND know how/when to use both.  Daily rates are easier to manage from an administrative level because each day is considered 1 unit at whatever your daily rate is.  Hourly rates are dependant upon the specialist keeping an honest account of his/her time on station.  There are times under the hourly rate model that a client will challenge the hours.  Under the daily rate model a client will see that there is a price break and savings.  For instance if your billable daily rate is $750 p/day, per specialist and your hourly rate is $75 p/hour.  If the specialist works a 12 hour shift under the hourly rate you will bill the client at $900, however under the daily rate they would save $150.  From a business standpoint many of you are saying, “That’s taking $150 out of your pocket.”  In all actuality a client will stomach sustaining the daily rate for a longer period than the hourly rate.  The question you have to ask yourself is are you in it for the long haul or the hit and run.
  2. Contracts: Lawyers in this industry that do executive protection still find our contracts a work in progress.  Certain elements have to be in all contracts, however there are some time proven additions that MUST be added for YOUR protection.  No one can guarantee with a 100% certainty that you can protect anyone from hurt, harm or danger.  There are some factors outside of our control that, no matter how much protective advance work you put into the detail, cannot alleviate issues.  That must be in the contract.  Another section that I have in my contracts is a “Schedule A” which is the scope of work.  In it you spell out exactly what you’ve been asked to do, how many specialists, what expenses have been approved etc.  Make your contracts SOLID and get them in order.  I have started details while contracts are still being passed back and forth between the client’s legal department and my office.  In many cases the email exchange serves as an agreement.
  3. Insurance: The insurance industry has caught up with the EP industry and knows exactly what we do, how we do it and all the shortcuts many EP companies are doing to get around the proper insurance coverage.  The days of having a standard uniform security policy are OVER.  These same insurance companies provide policies for the very same people we protect.  Insaurance agents know that many of us use rental cars and that the added insurance policy you add on at the rental car booth is NOT sufficient to cover the potential liability associated with an accident.  More and more venues are now asking for insurance certificates from our companies even if we are bringing a principal in their building.  If I sub-contract a company under mine, and for those of you who have subbed under me, know that I always ask for a copy of an insurance certificate with me as the holder.  That covers me and you.  Our insurance is not cheap, because insurance companies understand the brevity of the services we provide.  But that’s the price to play in this game.

Tomorrow I will give 3 suggestions to specialists that should be considered going into the new year

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